Father of freed Burkina Faso hostage contacts SA wife waiting to hear her husband's fate
The wife of South African mine worker Christo Bothma, who was abducted in Burkina Faso in 2018, says she is hoping for good news about her husband following the release of a man who was taken hostage with him.
Speaking to SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE on Tuesday, Amanda Bothma said she was contacted by Akoliya Patel, an Indian gold mine owner in Burkina Faso, who said his son, Kimar Akoliya, had been released at the weekend.
“He contacted me on Saturday and told me that his son had been released. I asked him what his son had said about my husband or if he has any information regarding my husband. He said I must give him two days to allow his son to rest and settle down, and they will then contact me,” she said.
Akoliya was kidnapped by unidentified assailants with two colleagues, one South African and one from Burkina Faso, in September 2018.
Amanda said she and her family were hopeful they would receive positive feedback from Akoliya.
“We are still hoping for good news, or news at all. We really hope he can tell us if he’s alive or not,” she said.
This is as the family received news that he had been released, which was untrue. In September last year, they received news that he had died, but refused to believe this as there was nothing to prove it.
“It has been a while now. So much has happened and we’ve heard so many things which turned out to be untrue. Right now we are hoping that if we don’t get good news, then get his body, bring it home and say our goodbyes, if possible,” said Amanda.
The couple have six children, aged between 20 and 30.
The news of Akoliya’s release sparked mixed emotions among them.
Amanda said earlier she would never lose hope, nor accept her husband was not alive without seeing his body.
“It may not be today, tomorrow, next month, but one day he will return home. Only then will I believe he’s dead or alive. Until I see his body, he is not dead."
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